In light of recent cases of avian influenza in the United States and to safeguard against the threat of the virus and other poultry diseases, the Iowa Poultry Association (IPA), in cooperation with the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) has nearly completed the process of auditing layer and pullet flocks in the state.
As of April 5, according to a press release from IPA, 90 percent of the layer and pullet auditing process has been completed, well ahead of the timeline prescribed nationally.
The association stated that all broilers in Iowa have been audited, while turkey audits are underway.
These audits are being implemented in an effort to develop a stronger accountability system for monitoring industry biosecurity practices and further strengthen biosecurity adherence at poultry operations.
“Biosecurity and protecting Iowa’s poultry flocks is of utmost priority to Iowa Poultry Association and our members are in 100 percent agreement,” said Kevin Stiles, executive director of IPA. “When the audit process was approved by NPIP earlier in 2017, our board immediately tasked us with conducting trial audits. These went very well and we extended the offer to our entire commercial poultry farmer community. It was energizing and invigorating to see the overwhelming response.
Emily Reynolds, Iowa NPIP state coordinator, has been busy and has logged more than 5,000 miles so far with the initiative, she says she enjoys the work.
“Egg farmers are willing to schedule these audits, and they are going well,” Reynolds said. “I enjoy going to the farms and meeting with the people in the industry.”
In addition to conducting the audits, IPA is hosting a Poultry Blood Testing School, to be held on April 14.
So far in 2018, there have been two confirmed cases of avian influenza in poultry flocks. Low pathogenic H7N1 avian influenza was confirmed in a commercial broiler breeder flock in Hopkins County, Texas, in March. There were 24,091 chickens in that flock. Also in March, another case of low pathogenic avian influenza was detected in a commercial turkey flock in Jasper County, Missouri, affecting about 20,000 turkeys.